Little Elephant / Little Platypus

Little Elephant
Anna Brett and Carmen Saldaña
Little Platypus
Anna Brett and Rebeca Pintos

In the first of these additions to the Really Wild Families series, Anna Brett takes readers to the African Savannah, home to Little Elephant (our narrator) and family to spend a day with the elephant herd comprising fifteen elephants, almost all of which are female, the oldest and most knowledgeable being Grandma. The youngest member of the herd is a two day old cousin of the narrator.

We see how the elephants search for and eat their food, meet some of the other animal inhabitants of the savannah and then head for the watering hole to drink and have some fun too, all under the watchful eye of Grandma.

It’s she that sounds the trumpet alarm call warning of a lion in the vicinity: time for the adult elephants to form a protective circle around the calves until the danger is over. There’s information about the role of tusks, ways of communicating and more, until at sundown, members of the herd stop to rest for the night.

Following the simple narrative are some additional elephant facts, information about elephant conservation, a case study and some activities. Carmen Saldaña illustrates this one, supporting the information well.

Belonging to a much smaller family (a mother and her two young ones) and living tucked away in a burrow on a riverbank in eastern Australia is Little Platypus, a nocturnal animal. It’s Little Platypus’s voice that tells readers about platypuses’ physical features, habits and habitat, reproduction and how they are born,

what they eat and how they survive. Males such as Little Platypus have a spur on each back leg that is able to release venom in dangerous situations.
Again Anna Brett’s manner of presenting the information is well pitched for young children and Rebeca Pintos’s illustrations are beautifully executed, playful and alluring. The backmatter is similar to the previous book though platypus related.
Like the elephant title, the few photos are especially useful as both illustrators have made their animals look rather more endearing than realistic.

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